Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dr Botanicals Japanese Orange Revive & Firm Facial Serum Review

Hi guys! It's been awhile since my last review- I've been busy with my move back to Manchester and sorting a couple of muck-ups with housing. It's a long story, but basically I wasn't sure for a week or two how the place I planned to move into was actually legal or allowed. Why do irresponsible people exist.



So... yeah. Big mess.
It's all sorted now and by December renewing the housing agreement should be a lot smoother. Fingers crossed! Life update over, let's head right into this review.


I signed up for the Dr Botanicals review program and received an invitation to review the Japanese Orange Revive & Firm Facial Serum. I just had to pay delivery, which you can redeem the value of in a voucher for your next order.

To be honest- I was a little skeptical of its claims. A lot of companies are promoting vegan/ cruelty-free skincare ranges now because consumers are now more conscious of the products they buy.

Don't get me wrong- I think it's a great example of consumers actively influencing company decisions for the better and i think it's an excellent step forward for the beauty industry.

However, in many brands it's simply used as a sort of marketing tactic given not all of their products adhere to this. But rest assured- all of Dr Botanicals' products are strictly vegan.

And you know how people talk about their "holy grail product"?
This is it for me.

I'm not sure if this was the main purpose of the serum, but it cleared my skin up almost overnight. I was amazed. I've never had anything clear my skin up so quickly.


I was already really impressed with the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin cream, which saved my skin from drying out on TWO long-ass flights (total travel time over 24 hours, you heard me- this is the long-distance life).

My skin was clearing up with the cream after a really bad case of hormonal acne, but with this serum, it worked beautifully underneath the cream and I actually had glowy skin.

The serum smells lovely and citrusy and is a tad bit sticky, which I don't really notice since I go to bed immediately after that. I drip a few drops on my face directly (handy dropper tool keeps it hygienic!) and gently pat it in with my fingers.


You may not like it if you dislike strong scents. It seems a little strong for me upon first application, but fades after awhile. I have sensitive skin which flares up with some strong scented products but this doesn't affect it at all which is great :)

I don't even know how to describe how happy I am with this- I just paid for delivery on this one, but definitely going to repurchase when it runs out. Not sure if I'll get the whole line, but I'll look into it and possibly indulge myself for Christmas.

I've already caved and got myself the Ultra-Repair Overnight Regenerating Treatment (a night cream) during their sale, after reading lots of rave reviews about it.

I've been conscious about my eye bags recently and I'm worried I'll develop fine lines early, so I'll see if this works for me like the serum did! I'll probably review it another time.

You can try signing up for the review program too- I got my friend to try it out, but I'm not sure how they do selections- she never got an invite, but you can try your luck! I don't think you need a good social media following or a blog :)

Here's the link to the review program.

I have now moved to a custom site- check my snazzy new blog here!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pho Manchester review

I was craving Vietnamese food this week and Pho was brought up after my housemate mistakenly assumed I was heading there (instead of I am Pho in Chinatown, on George St).
I looked at the menu online and saw they do a lunch deal from 12-5pm on weekdays, so I thought it was worth a try.

Unfortunately, I faffed about getting ready and made it to Pho just five minutes late :(

Missed the lunch deal (£9.95 for a main and starter- menu here) but oh well, I'm sure I'll be back for food next time.

I decided to get the Phở chín- tender beef brisket slow cooked in broth (£8.75). According to the description on the site: Phở, (pronounced fuh) is the Vietnamese national dish; an aromatic & delicious rice noodle soup served with a side plate of fresh herbs to add as you please.



Extra toppings like tofu, brisket, mushrooms etc. can be added on for £1/1.75.
I was quite glad to see that the beansprouts were served raw, as is traditional- too many places boil them before and it loses the taste and crunch.

It came with the usual other herbs: mint, coriander(?), chilli- I would have loved to have more coriander and mint, personally, but I think that's an issue that you could settle by asking the servers for more.

The broth was quite flavourful but just a tad saltier than I would have preferred- still excellent and nearly just like the phở I had in Vietnam years ago!

I think when a dish is taken out of its country of origin, it can be replicated well, but somehow there is a little essence of something that is lost.

There are so many factors: water, ingredients, etc., but I think Pho Manchester does a pretty good job replicating this Vietnamese dish.

Pho's website says: our broths are made in each restaurant by slowly simmering bones for a good 12 hours & it’s this authentic preparation that is key to phở retaining all its goodness & developing its own distinctive tastes & aromas.

Is there any wonder that this dish is Gordon Ramsay's choice of a last meal? It is warm, savoury, intense, and filling (I could gush adjectives all day)- one of my favourite comfort foods.

I got Cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee, £2.80) to accompany my main, and when it first came, the coffee was really watery, weak, and barely had any condensed milk in.



I didn't want to seem like I was being fussy but I didn't want to waste it- I spoke to the server about it and she sorted it out for me right away without any fuss.

The second try was perfect, good strong brew and sweet without being too cloying. Kudos for the fast and excellent service!

I will probably update this review when I come back for a second visit with thoughts about starters and desserts (eyeing the Gỏi cuốn [spring rolls] and Chuối chiên [banana fritters])

Granted, I'm a bit disappointed there isn't much variety in desserts aside from ice cream, since a lot of their sweet desserts e.g. Chè Bà Ba, Chè Chuối, are flavourful and easy to replicate: sweet potato, banana, coconut milk make up the base for many of these and would really allow patrons to experience some local desserts that are popular at night markets and street stalls.

I was initially quite wary about visiting this restaurant since many restaurant chains claiming to do "authentic" food end up doing lots of ~fusion~ dishes catered to local tastes (not that there's anything wrong with that, since that is the majority of their customer base, but it's sometimes a little disappointing).

Pho has lots of good veggie or vegan options too (e.g. Phở chay: tofu & button mushrooms in a veggie broth), which is quite good for the diet-conscious who struggle to find variety while eating out.



They gave me a cute postcard with the bill and now I feel like I need to visit Pho in every city just to collect them LOL. Sneaky marketing hahaha


***

Food: Very Good.
There is a lot of variety but would love to see more dessert options. Food is pretty authentic.

Service: Very Good.
The staff were very friendly and helpful when I requested a replacement.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get their attention even though there are a lot of staff standing around just chatting to each other.

Wait time: Around 5-15 minutes.

Food was served very quickly and drinks immediately, so I did not feel like I was waiting around with nothing to eat. When I went the restaurant was nearly empty so no waiting around.

Affordability: Very Good

The prices are reasonable but if you are on a student budget i.e. in debt and scrimping to make ends meet, go for their lunch deal (£9.95, 12-5pm on weekdays).

Full menu here.

Lunch menu here.

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 12pm - 11pm
Saturday: 11:30am - 11pm
Sunday: 11:30am - 10pm

Tel: +44 0161 464 9779

Directions:



Edit:

I went back for a second visit for the lunch deal and was not disappointed by the spring rolls- I highly recommend getting the peanut sauce with it- it reminds me a lot of peanut satay sauce I usually get in Singapore hawker centres (oh, how I miss cheap hawker fare) and it was sweet and salty- very flavourful and was a perfect addition to the herby, tangy flavours in the spring roll.

My taste buds were in overdrive and I kept making all these ridiculous sounds, it tasted that good. There were so many flavours going on and I love how there was a perfect balance of greens, noodles, and they didn't scrimp on the prawns like most places usually do.

I would probably go in for the spring rolls alone since it costs £4.95 and for 4 servings, I wouldn't mind paying that. The size may be a tad smaller compared to I am Pho (in Chinatown) but given the proximity to the Arndale/Market Street it's quite easy to pop in for a quick pick-me-up after shopping.

The Pho broth was not as good this time around and I was mildly disappointed given how much I sang its praises on my first visit. Also, real talk- why do they use ramen spoons for Pho?? The spoon was absurdly big, awkward to use, and entirely from the wrong cuisine. 
You use one of these:



Not this???


Hoping they change it soon because I couldn't properly drink the soup off the latter (since you don't actually drink the ramen broth, that makes sense) and the noodles were too slippery and went everywhere.

Pho- sort something out please. Replacing the spoons will only cost you a couple hundred quid, please get rid of the ramen spoons and donate them to Shoryu or Wagamamas or something.

#rantover

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Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Makeup Primer

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Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Makeup Primer in 002
Usually I can't use any primers with my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation as it is a VERY fussy and nitpicky foundation- just smears and slides and looks awful!



I'm so so happy with this 🙌🏼 definitely recommend!

Think I got it on Amazon UK for £5+ so it's VERY affordable. I've tried Smashbox primers over the same Estee Lauder foundation and it didn't work out either 😞 and this is literally 1/4 the price and works so much better! It goes on so smoothly and does not leave any chalky residue like the W7 Magic Face Primer did.

I got the W7 primer on Amazon UK for £3 and it does leave your face feeling deliciously smooth and covers all your pores really well, as if it has been airbrushed, but any application of liquids makes it flake right off.

Which is reaaally not ideal.

I use it only if I can't be ars*d having foundation on, but still want my skin to look smooth. The W7 primer is very similar to the TONYMOLY Egg Pore silky smooth balm and The Body Shop all-in-one instablur, which I did a review of previously here.



It helps manage my oily skin too, which is a huge plus point. In fact, I had to go over with the Mario Badescu facial spray and skip a setting powder because it started looking a bit dry and I didn't want it to end up cakey

selfie with rimmel primer

PRODUCTS LIST

Primer: Rimmel Fix&Perfect makeup primer 002
Foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation in 2W0 Warm Vanilla + Maybelline FIT Me! Liquid Foundation in 120 Classic Ivory
Blusher: Albeit Cheek Stick in Nectar
Contour: Sleek Contouring and Blush palette
Mascara: Clio Salon de Cara Mascara (Volume x Curling) + Maybelline the Rocket Volum'Express
Lips: Sugar tinted lip balm in Rose under Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita II
Brows: The Body Shop Brow & Liner Kit (03)
Eyeshadow: TBS brow powder + Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer (03)
Spray: Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater
Tools used: Real Techniques sponge + Real Techniques brushes core collection
SaveSaveSaveSave

Friday, May 27, 2016

Busaba Eathai Manchester Review

I have been frequenting Busaba Eathai a lot recently.

For someone who rarely eats out (well, in the UK anyway), having gone to this restaurant four times in 3 weeks is quite a feat.

I feel like I may come across as being overly-critical in this review, but I think it's just a Singaporean- or Asian thing to be critical? 😬

Trust me when I say the food is worth it- you just need to pick the right dishes! Well, this may be less a review than an insistent "get these dishes or else" but you know, do what you want, and feel free to ask the staff for recommendations to suit your palate. 

I must first start off by loudly proclaiming how bloody excellent the Thai ice coffee (I think it's around £2) is. Pardon my French, but I will repeat- bloody excellent.


The cardamom pods give it a hint of spice, that extra something special, and I am guilty of repeatedly going back just for the iced coffee.





Perfect for summer 😎





The Thai calamari (£6.95) is a must-have, a perfect blend of salty and sweet. It is a mouthful of chewy heaven that seems to go on forever! Scoop on the ginger pieces and chew on and on and on....

It comes in a tasteful bowl, perfect for sharing between two people, or you can get one on your own because face it, it's amazing and you want it all to yourself. I nearly cried happy tears and took an additional order to go.


There were two businessmen next to me on one of my visits loudly singing its praises, and I couldn't stop smiling at my exact sentiments 😎







The fish cakes (£4.95) are also very excellent. I wish there were more for the price, but these aren't your ordinary fish cakes- they do pack a punch especially given how bad I am with spicy food- but boy, are they worth it. Just make sure you savour those few bites! I love the texture, and the sauce that comes with it adds a bit of zingy sweetness, and paired with the spicy, savoury flavour of the fishcake, creates the perfect blend of umami.


For the main:

I usually get the Tom kha chicken (£10.95), which is lemongrass chicken and glass noodles in a delicious broth. It's a perfect blend of sour, spice, and savoury- I adore the heady coconut, galangal and lemongrass taste.

If you've had Thai before, the best description for this is Tom yum, with its spiciness neutered somewhat. It's a godsend for people who love Tom yum, but can't handle the spiciness.


Galangal is a root vegetable much like ginger and features prominently in Tom Kha and Tom yum soups. The fact that they've made sure to include it is impressive, since many of the Thai restaurants I've been to leave it out for convenience sake. It's not really something you can find in supermarkets here.


I usually ask for more noodles, since the portion can be quite small. There is ample broth though, which I happily finish every time.



The Classic pad Thai (£9.50) had a huge portion I struggled to finish after ordering a side dish and dessert.


I didn't enjoy it as much because the dried shrimp overwhelmed the whole dish. If you have a Western palate and find fish sauce disgusting, I would not recommend getting this. I did like the crunchy texture of the beansprouts paired with the noodles, but towards the end my mouth was on fire and I could barely taste anything other than fire and dried shrimp.


If you can handle your spice, I would recommend the Northern Thai laksa (£10.95). I had a small taste from my cousin's bowl and the soup is really aromatic. The chicken is tender and flavourful too, and the noodles lend a nice bite to it. Be prepared to down several glasses of water!


And how can one forget to mention a green curry dish? Get the green chicken curry with aubergines and corn and you won't go wrong.


Personally, the side dishes outshine the mains. I would order a whole bunch of sides if I could afford it, to be honest.


I have yet to try the Som Tam, which is a green papaya salad with dried shrimp, peanut, cherry tomatoes and lime but I'm looking forward to it on my next visit- I just couldn't justify getting three sides, and I couldn't not order the calamari or the fish cakes! I Am Pho in Chinatown, Manchester (directions here) does a great salad in the same style, and I regularly go there for good Vietnamese food.


I've tried most of the desserts and some are good, but others are not necessarily something you could justify paying for.


The must-try dessert has to be the sticky black rice pudding (£4.95). It is deliciously sweet, a great palate cleanser, and the sour notes of the mango balance out the sweetness of the condensed milk.

If you loved this, The kitchn does a really good recipe that you can try. Healthy Harlequin has also done a helpful video tutorial, but it uses the Chinese equivalent, which is less sticky.


How to make Forbidden Coconut Black Rice with Healthy Harlequin (15 secs) from Healthy Harlequin on Vimeo.





The coconut ice cream (2 scoops, £3.50; 3 scoops, £4.50) has an interesting bite with coconut pieces, but I would much like it better with a stronger coconut taste- it resembles more vanilla than coconut.


I would skip the pandan roll and buy one from a Chinese bakery at a fraction of the cost.



General Remarks

Ambience: Excellent


The decorations are very thought-out, and everything: from the cutlery, the vases, the furnishings, to the wall decals... hell, the toilets look like they belong in a spa.

(Go to Busaba for the wooden toilet seats!! Tell them I sent you! 😂)







Food: Very Good


There is a good balance between traditional and modern, and the dishes try to be as authentic as possible even as it explores innovative twists. Some of the dishes do fall flat on authenticity, but if you have not been to Thailand, you probably might as well visit them. The London branch has better food than the Manchester one.


Customer service: Very Good


The staff were very friendly and made sure to recommend dishes and ask whether we enjoyed our meals.


The first time we went, there was a breakdown in communication and resulted in us waiting over 20 minutes before they realised. They apologised profusely told us that all our drinks would be on the house, which was a nice surprise.


Sometimes it can be difficult to get their attention, which might be attributed to the large size of the restaurant.


Wait time: 
Generally 10-20 minutes.


The staff usually ask if we want prawn crackers while waiting and serve drinks immediately, so don't worry about sitting around hungry!


Affordability: Very Good


The prices are reasonable but if you are on a student budget i.e. in debt and scrimping to make ends meet, just make sure you get a set meal. They do lunch sets from £9.95 from Monday to Friday, 12-4pm and £12.95 from 4pm.

Otherwise, getting a starter, main, drinks and dessert each would set you back roughly £20-30/ pax.


Opening times: They are open from 12-11pm most days.

Directions:



I wasn't paid to do this review- all opinions are my own. In fact, I have given them all my money by buying way too much calamari and iced coffee. 😅


They have an ongoing promotion for the Bank holiday weekend- exciting times!


Top 5 Most Useful Things I bought from The Body Shop*

*of course, this is MY list, which means it is relative. Definitely, someone else has bought these product(s) and thought they were terrible and worthy of a long rant like I did here, so please don’t come after me with a rusty axe.
This is a post in response to my very cheeky post from 2 weeks ago: Top 5 Most Useless Things I bought from The Body Shop in a vain attempt to ensure I'm not sued. These purchases are things I genuinely enjoy and purchase repeatedly. I stockpile them whenever there are sales on, which means always (there is a sale every week and I don't understand why, but I'm not complaining. The Christmas sales are the best)- so I end up with a lot of these.
Whoops.
***
I prefer bar soaps to liquid soap. There's something simply satisfying about scrubbing it all over yourself, and I find you feel cleaner and firmer for some reason?? With liquid soaps it feels like you're rubbing conditioner all over yourself and it doesn't feel CLEAN. I give up trying to explain this concept because there's obviously some science-y mumbo-jumbo and mind trickery that I am no good at so you need to try it out for yourself.
My favourite is the Chocomania bar soap. All the UK and Singapore stores have phased it out, unfortunately- but I stockpiled 5 of them last year during the sale because it was going at only £1 (50% off!).

What is it with The Body Shop and getting rid of nice things?? Why can't we ever have nice things? The US stores still sell it but it comes in the shape of a heart. Wish they'd ship it to the UK ffs- I'm running low and need my soap fix asap.

Edit: went to Canada and they don't stock it either. Looks like the US is hoarding them all.
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The Chocomania soap comes with little gritty bits in them that serve as an exfoliator. Just like how you expect a cookie to be chocolate chip and bite into a raisin cookie instead, the little gritty bits are actually pieces of coconut shell.

Such heresy.
I wanted to bathe in the ruined dreams of broken chocolate bits.
However, if this isn't a priority on your list and you're perfectly happy in scrubbing yourself off with coconut shell, these exfoliator thingamajigs are perfect: you can get clean and smooth at the same time. Especially if you're really lazy.

It's now winter and you don't need to get your legs out so you can skimp on full-body exfoliation I guess. Though I still have dry scale-y snakeskin on my legs that show no sign of wanting to budge and probably needs some sort of industrial-strength cleaner, it does slough off some of the dead skin and makes it feel soft.
With the Chocomania soap sadly out of stock in stores everywhere here, I would recommend going for the Shea soap if you liked the scent of the Chocomania one, or the Coconut. I would recommend popping into one of the stores to sniff surreptitiously at them like a drug addict and run home to nab one of the "exclusive" and "limited-time" (read: forever ongoing) sales. 

It is much cheaper than buying the soaps in stores because you can usually get them for 30-60% off with free delivery even. Sales are best from November-January but you need to decide if you want to hold out for the massive Christmas sale around 20-25 December and risk having the items go out of stock, or get them earlier, but at a lower discount.
I sound like such a cheapskate seasoned shopper gosh.
At full price, most of these soaps are £2. Other ranges can go up to £4-6 if I am not wrong (e.g. the hemp one), but I prefer the basic ones.
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I admit I mostly bought this because I'm a huge fan of ginger and ginger tea. I had occasions of dandruff 2-3 years ago whenever I got stressed, nothing major so I didn't think it was anything I should worry about.

To tell the truth I didn't think this would help much. You know how products promise loads of things and never actually do any? (wow what a cynical b*tch I am)
Surprisingly, it did help, and it smells amazing. The smell doesn't last as long as the cheap ones you get from the pound store and costs four times as much but a little goes a long way and I promise you, it makes your hair and scalp feel great. It feels really cooling and a little tingly and I don't know if I should attribute it to this shampoo- but my hair grows out a lot quicker and looks fuller.

Most importantly, I don't have issues with dandruff even though the second year of uni is stressing me out beyond belief. It would be perfect if it could help with oily scalps (the product claims to help dry scalps) but I guess you can't have it all!
I sometimes mix it with cinnamon powder because it smells amazing together and makes your scalp less oily but make sure to rinse it out properly or you will leave cinnamon powder that looks like gritty brown dandruff everytime you move your head.
After I got a light perm 3 months ago I found that this isn't enough to moisturise my hair, so I've been using argan oil (pure argan oil from my old workplace, not the one TBS is selling) and a conditioner from the Rainforest range.

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I usually get the jumbo-sized 400ml ones and I bought far too much last Christmas (three bottles). It's Christmas again soon and I'm STILL on my first bottle. Huh. Admittedly if you're buying it for your family it'll go down quicker, but it is still impressive nonetheless.
Get the 250ml at £4.50 or the 400ml at £6.50.
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This baby is NOT cheap and I would highly recommend going in-store to make sure whatever hand cream you're getting is something you like the smell of/ works for you. I like the smell of this as it is very fresh and wakes me up but it still needed some getting used to. One of my best friends absolutely loathes the smell though.
I like this one because it's light enough to not leave an oily film on your hands yet moisturising enough (more than the rose one). I only switch this out for the hemp hand cream (which smells even worse) for heavy-duty moisturising during winter. 

I even apply it to my nose if it's feeling really dry and I don't have any face moisturiser on hand. It's so light it doesn't break me out.
In terms of how heavy the different hand creams are,  from what I've tried: (heaviest to lightest)
Hemp > Almond > Absinthe > Wild Rose (SPF 15)
They've launched a whole bunch of fruit ones but I've not tried those yet.
My boyfriend got this for me nearly two years ago (the 100ml one) and it's still around, though very squashed and crinkled. 

I'm not sure what I feel about these tubes because they look very pretty, but they don't bounce back to shape and I'm definitely going to cut the tube to scoop out the remaining hand cream hiding in the cracks I couldn't smooth out.
Get the 30ml at £5 or the 100ml at £11. I find the 100ml a lot more difficult to misplace, lasts longer, is more bang for your buck and still compact enough to fit in the small pockets of your bag.
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This perfume oil is from the Scents of the World range, which is pretty popular in Asia but is apparently being phased out of a lot of western stores for some reason. I have huge issues with this. 

The Body Shop discontinued their original, wildly popular vanilla perfume oil to huge outcry and I was glad they brought it back in the form of this perfume oil. However... it seems like this is going the way of the Dodo again. 

I don't understand it, they must not want to earn money. Stop wasting money marketing new ranges and please bring back all the good things!
Maybe it's time to start hoarding bottles when I fly back to Singapore in June.
This perfume oil lasts for ages and is not overly cloying. Standard spray-on perfumes tend to overwhelm upon initial application and fade quickly, but this stays on for hours and hours consistently, which I love.
I often layer this with my Chloé perfume because that doesn't last long, and I like the additional musk. Often, vanilla-based perfumes have the tendency to make you smell like a bakery but this manages to keep the vanilla note without making you out to be a breathing, living cupcake.
If vanilla isn't quite your thing, you can check out the other scents in this range. They also come in other forms, like a body mist, shower gel, and body lotion. I bought it for $22.50 SGD if I'm not wrong, which is probably around £10-11. I'm not quite sure if you can buy it still but you could try scouring eBay.
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This is one of the best moisturisers I've used and it cleared up my acne for the first 2 months of usage. After that the acne bacteria probably got used to it and developed some sort of immunity? I have zero clue about how this works please don't lecture me about it thanks #badscience
I got it before they started offering the larger 100ml size but it was a bit cheaper then, £11 compared to £12 (they've changed the packaging now to a very patriotic British flag design). I got it during a sale, 50% off so I got it at £5.50. 

I probably wouldn't buy it at full price (why is my whole blog post about me talking about discounts? I'm so Singaporean) when there are much cheaper alternatives, but if you're extremely frustrated with your skin and would like to try a cream that is suitable for combination skin, I would recommend giving this a go.
A little honestly goes a long way and I would like to see this cream in a pump dispenser, which will be more convenient and infinitely more hygienic than repeatedly dipping my fingers that have touched every surface possible- even if I washed my hands before application, exposure to air/dust etc isn't very good either. 

I used a tiny spatula that was originally used for ice-cream to apply it, but it was a hassle half the time.
The original price for the 50ml is £12. The 100ml is £18 (admittedly the better deal).
BONUSBody butters
This post cannot be complete without the product that probably made The Body Shop so well-known all over the world- body butter!
Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 17.24.43
Before they started marketing it as such, other brands called moisturisers, moisturisers. Now, every brand is coming up with their own version of body butter in various fruity scents. Sounds fancier, I guess.
In high school, we weren't allowed to use perfume so the girls would apply these body butters after P.E. (gym) to smell nice. 

Everyone had their own 'signature scent' and when someone happened to buy the same scent there would be inevitable bitching in class with snide remarks (ahh, how immature we were). The class would always smell like a bloody fruit salad after P.E.
Still, at least it masked how bad the guys smelt.
My favourites have got to be the Papaya (limited edition, OOS), the Raspberry, and the Shea (which I have never owned but have always wanted to). These tubs never seem to run out and I have only managed to finish one. I have 6 unfinished ones, because The Body Shop keeps sending me free tubs along with their sales, or I pick up some because they are 60% off or something and I couldn't resist.
***
I hope this post didn't end up being a shameless plug for products. 

These are things I have honestly tried and loved and they worked for me. Of course, I would recommend visiting a store to try them out (the staff members are usually very generous with samples) and please, please, do patch tests for stuff you put on your face especially if you have sensitive skin.

I would recommend waiting for sales and purchasing the products online, unless money isn't an issue and you can't be bothered with deals and sales.
The Body Shop is definitely more expensive than drugstore alternatives like Nivea, but I like the extra care they put into packaging and their various campaigns to help the environment and people in need. Plus, if you wait for the sales, some of their soaps and moisturisers can be cheaper than the drugstore alternatives too.
Read my other post where I lambast useless Body Shop products here (fairly, of course)!

Prefer Wordpress? Read this post HERE!

Top 5 Most Useless Things I bought from The Body Shop*

*of course, this is MY list, which means it is relative. Definitely, someone else has bought these product(s) and thought them the best thing since sliced bread, so please don't come after me with a rusty axe.


***


1) Thirsty Feet Moisture Socks


19424m_lThese remind me of the weird shoes they used to have in Ancient China.

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You'd think they'd know better than to take fashion tips from people centuries and centuries ago, but then again people are wearing Native American headdresses for music festivals, so evidently not.

Okay, so the thing is- these are sleeping socks. You slather moisturiser on your feet, put this sorry excuse of a sock on and wake up to baby soft feet.


Which would be a good idea, if only they would stay on my feet. Given that the average shoe size is 5, you'd expect them to cater them to women around this range- they're stretchy, after all- but noooo, it's oversized socks for you! And you! And you!


Oversized socks for everyone! 1!1!1! I wake up to dry feet in these harsh British winters (okay, I kid) and have to waste time in the morning hunting for these frustrating incompetent feet things under my duvet. Not ideal.


These socks stain too, btw, after I slathered the gingerbread body butter from TBS and now it looks like I sweat orange sweat. Wonder why they haven't recommended any sort of foot cream that doesn't stain to go with it?? It looks atrocious and after 3 uses I have given up and decided to use it as a very overpriced cloth to clean my mirror- which works great, in case you're wondering.


I would recommend this only if you have bigfoot-sized feet (name practically explains itself) or if you would like to procure a glorified overpriced surface cleaner. All yours for only £7!


2) No More Rough Stuff Smoother


24166m_lI probably am doing this wrong but I don't know what this is supposed to do for my feet, after rubbing them with this blue monstrosity (takes bloody ages and I just can't be arsed to be honest) which only seems to hurt my hand.

Are they supposed to be nice and smooth? Because I sure don't see any difference. Maybe my feet are already passably smooth and that's why it's not doing much.Who knows.


I know they recommended this for elbows too but it bloody hurts and after one try I'm not doing it again. Which side am I supposed to use? The differently sized edges do come in pretty useful for smaller bits, but it's not doing much for me. The cheap Chinese grater-like thing my mum acquired years ago worked tons better.


It's only £4 for this sandpaper-like block, so give it a try- you may get better results than I did! The only use I've got out of it is observing the black mould spots on it grow and spread as I leave it abandoned on the bathroom shelf. Future microbacterial scientists, anyone?


3) Cooling Gel Eye Mask


53356m_lI don't have puffy, tired eyes much and when I do, I forget to put this it in the fridge, so it's essentially useless. I'm not walking two floors down to put it in the fridge along with my bacon and vegetables and week-old fruit and waiting half an hour then walking down again to get it and come up.

Nah.By then I just want to sleep.


I much prefer a hot flannel over my eyes or anything warm really. I liked the hot packs from Taiwan that were chemically activated or something, you pressed this metal tab in the silicone pack that would trigger the chemical reaction and it eventually solidified into a hard crystal lump. It gave heat for hours and hours and it was amazing for period cramps and sore eyes. You then had to put it in hot water to reverse the chemical reaction, ready for the next use. It was fantastic and I cried bitterly when they started wearing away and burst one after the other after years of use.


By this if your room is next to the kitchen or if you aren't forgetful and lazy like me. Or if you have a mini-fridge in your room. Or if you live in Canada or Russia, simply leave it next to your window.


Or if you're channelling your inner Cyclops.


cyclops02


4) Tea Tree Blemish Gel

58330m_lI don't even know what I bought this for because I just bought it to try to make my order up to a certain amount to get a free bottle of shower gel or moisturiser or something. I don't know what it's supposed to do but I guess it's for acne, so I used to dab it on spots.

It made no difference whether I used it or not, I might as well be dabbing water on- it's just lying at the bottom of the drawer unused. For a tiny little tube (2.5ml!!!), you'd think it'd be cheaper or at least effective. The reviews on the site rave about how it clears up spots quick, but for £6.50, I could achieve the same results with toothpaste at 1/10 the price.


5) Foundation Brush


10583m_lThis brush is annoyingly flat, like a paintbrush, and just as streaky. Liquid foundation goes on in streaks and requires intense blending, and never quite goes right for a hopelessly makeup-noob like me. I returned it to the TBS store in despair, saying how it didn't work out for me, and the shop assistant told me, conspiratorally, that she didn't use it either, and told me to pick up one of the fluffier ones instead to avoid streaking.

I did take her up on her offer, but it didn't work out much better either, and I've found a beauty blender works so much better.


Buy this if you love streaky foundation, lines on your face, or are a makeup expert that can make everything work for you. It's not cheap (£12), considering how you can get a whole Real Techniques basic set for the same price, but hey, if you have money to blow, be my guest.



***

I hope you enjoyed reading this acerbic, tongue-in-cheek blog post and if The Body Shop ever sue me for gross misrepresentation of their products, at least I can say I had fun writing it! *hair flick*

Of course, it's all about finding the right products that work for everyone, in my opinion- and you unfortunately need to go through a lot of trial and error (and debt) before you find what works for you. I may not like these products, but take my advice with a pinch of salt, since I am a very bitter and sarcastic person and probably very incompetent in the use of such beauty/ body improvement products.


I always buy things on impulse without considering what I need (I bought two foot products even though my feet are alright, just because it was a 50% off sale) so yeah, there you are.


I will do a separate post on the top 5 most useful things I bought from The Body Shop next, by the way- maybe they won't sue me after all.


Prefer Wordpress? Read this post HERE.